Vegetables

An Italian Feast of Broccolini with Pesto

An Italian Feast of Broccolini with Pesto

Basil is the soundtrack of summer, the fragrant, slightly spicy herb that grows fast and makes everything taste better-including this Broccolini in Pesto. From pastas to panini, fresh basil is a sure hit. I know it must be, as my most watched video and post is about the Best Way To Freeze Basil, with over 5k views! I love to use my abundant basil to make a simple pesto and toss it with roasted vegetables, for a veggie-rich side. Why save pesto for pasta-when you can use it to make a gorgeous pile of broccolini even more savory and sexy?

Baby Zucchini with Rosemary and Balsamic

Baby Zucchini with Rosemary and Balsamic

It’s summertime, and the zucchini plants are in full production mode. I lucked out and found these tiny, baby zucchini at the farmer’s market, and felt they deserved to be honored in a special dish. Cooking with zucchini presents its own challenges, and this method is the best for mastering the zucchini harvest. This is a perfect way to use your summer squashes, of any size, and a fast side dish that everyone will love.

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top-Pistachio Pesto

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top-Pistachio Pesto

Simple is good. Especially when it comes to the freshest vegetables, straight out of the ground. That’s why I snatched up these gorgeous baby carrots at the Farmers Market. Full of sweet carrot flavor, these little gems need no cheffy tricks or ingredients. No, with fresh, fluffy greens, they came with their own sauce.

Roasted Broccolini with Shallots: a Perfect Side

Roasted Broccolini with Shallots: a Perfect Side

Broccolini, it’s broccoli, but better.There, I said it. Better. Broccoli is wonderful, but when you cross it with Gai Lan, it is even better. I hope broccoli won’t take it personally, but for the moment, I’m smitten with broccoli’s child. Roasted, of course.

Curry that Butternut Squash

Curry that Butternut Squash

The squash is perfect for “currying,” because it is already sweet and nutty. That natural sweetness is a perfect foil for balancing all the spices and a dash of lemon, for a dish that’s a riot of flavor. This is a perfect side for a big pot of Chole (spiced chickpeas) yellow rice or naan, or whatever your fave homemade Indian dish might be. Last week’s Tofu Saag comes to mind. It’s sweet and has just a bit of jalapeno heat, so it’s a good balance for a more chili-hot main course.

My Favorite Tofu Saag “Paneer”

My Favorite Tofu Saag “Paneer”

If you’ve ever had paneer, you may have noticed that the texture of it is pretty similar to tofu. It’s a fresh, non-melting cheese, made by adding and acid to milk so it will curdle, then draining the whey and pressing the cheese into a dense block. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s almost the same process used to make tofu.

Cauliflower Gratin, a French Classic

Cauliflower Gratin, a French Classic

In this gratin, we channel the wisdom of French chefs since time immemorial and whisk up a rich sauce, then blanket our cauliflower with it and run it under the broiler to give it a toasty browned top.

Spooky Squash Claws and Treats for Halloween! So Scary!

Spooky Squash Claws and Treats for Halloween! So Scary!

Look for the smallest Sweet Dumpling squashes so you can cut them into curved “claw” shapes, then roast to sweet tenderness. Use the black sesame seeds often sold in the sushi section at the store, to get a natural black color.

Veggie and Tofu Skewers with Peanut Hoisin Sauce

Veggie and Tofu Skewers with Peanut Hoisin Sauce

This Minnesota summer has seen a long, hot spell combined with a drought. Every day, we water and cross our fingers that it might rain a little, soon. It’s also way too hot to do any kind of baking. That’s the perfect time to use that grill to your advantage. I embrace the heat, and make grilled vegetables and tofu.
Of course, it is zucchini season, so you might well have an overload of zukes that shouldn’t go to waste. This method is a showy, fun way to put them to use. The first thing you need is a delicious sauce. I stirred up an easy, no-cook peanut-hoisin sauce in a flash. Then The veggies. I did blanch the brussels sprouts for one minute, just to help them cook through on the grill without drying out. The tofu got a sprinkle of tamari and sesame oil for a bit of flavor beneath the sauce. But the fun piece is the weaving of zucchini ribbons onto the skewers. Watch the video, for a quick demo. You’ll need a mandoline or a chop top box to slice the zucchini evenly and thinly.

Purslane and Glazed Tofu Summer Rolls, Eat Your Weeds

Purslane and Glazed Tofu Summer Rolls, Eat Your Weeds

You’ve probably seen purslane, growing out of cracks in the sidewalk, or filling in between the rows in your garden. I know I’ve yanked out bushels of the stuff, over the years. It took me a while to figure out that the vigorous “weed” was actually very valuable. You see, as vegetarians, we should be farming this stuff, and eating more of it than spinach.

Beets and Cukes in Miso Dressing with Pickled Ginger

Beets and Cukes in Miso Dressing with Pickled Ginger

I love beets. Their sweet, earthy essence seems to scare some people away, but not me. I do find it frustrating that the only way that beets are served in restaurants these days is in a salad with feta, chevre, or bleu. The sweetness of the beets is a perfect foil for...

Autumn Vegetable Gratin Is the Peasant Food You Need Now

Autumn Vegetable Gratin Is the Peasant Food You Need Now

Autumn Vegetable Gratin, with Roots It's Autumn. The leaves are afire with brilliant colors, the mornings are briskly frosty, and the harvest has been brought in from the fields. Now is a perfect time to crank the oven and make an Autumn Vegetable Gratin. Root...

Make Some Comfort Food: Creamy Roots Puree with Cashew Curry Gravy

Make Some Comfort Food: Creamy Roots Puree with Cashew Curry Gravy

Comfort Me With Food It's cold outside, and here in Minnesota, we've been cocooning for weeks. At times like this, it's hard to keep from face-planting into anything at all that seems like it might replace the energizing effects of sunshine and warmth. Sugar, Salt and...

Roasted Veggies Get Sexy with Pomegranate Glaze and Pistachios

Roasted Veggies Get Sexy with Pomegranate Glaze and Pistachios

Pomegranate Makes It Beautiful! Are you planning a big holiday meal? Looking through pinterest for recipes, or digging out your folder of Grandma's hand-written favorites?Can I put in a plug for good old fashioned cookbooks, too? And of course, pomegranate. This month...

Roast Wedges of Purple Cabbage for a Dramatic Side

Roast Wedges of Purple Cabbage for a Dramatic Side

How often do you eat purple cabbage? Is it relegated to a supporting role in salads, where a few slivers give your greens a little pop of color? If you haven't celebrated the awesome purple cabbage by giving it a starring part yet, it's time to give it a solo. Your...

Try a Sweet, Tender Hakurei Turnip in Salad, Fall in Love

Try a Sweet, Tender Hakurei Turnip in Salad, Fall in Love

Turnips never make the list of sexy vegetables. I haven't yet heard that turnips will be the "new kale," but who knows, maybe the fruity crunch of Hakurei Turnips will change all that. Unlike the usual purple tinged, pink, or just kind of rough looking over-wintered...

Raw Asparagus Salad with Summer Squash

Raw Asparagus Salad with Summer Squash

Local asparagus is in season, and it is time to celebrate those harbingers of Spring. The supple spears are tasty, with a creamy interior, a slightly funky flavor, and they are really easy to prep, if you just lop off the tips and slice the stems. If you need any more...

Think Summer with Jamaican Rundown Greens

Think Summer with Jamaican Rundown Greens

It's officially Spring, and Summer is going to leap out from behind a tree any second. That's how it works, here in Minnesota. One minute you are wearing a parka, then it rains and the temps veer around and require six different jackets on any given day, then boom....

Spicy Stir Fried Radishes with Greens, Earth Day is Every Day

Spicy Stir Fried Radishes with Greens, Earth Day is Every Day

Every Earth Day, we have a burst of consciousness raising about food waste. The hope is, of course, that all the helpful messages will be carried forward, helping everybody change a few habits in the coming year. Every little bit helps, right? For my little...

Celebrate Stress Awareness Month with Pesto Kale Salad

Celebrate Stress Awareness Month with Pesto Kale Salad

Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? (Stressed Inner voice: HOW DID IT SLIP BY ME!?!?! I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!) Yes, it's a whole month in which we should take a deep breath, stop beating ourselves up for not knowing that it's stress awareness month, and...

Have a Steak, Made of Cabbage, of Course.

Have a Steak, Made of Cabbage, of Course.

We can thank the plant-based cuisine movement. We've tried cauliflower steaks, Romanesco Trees, and the ubiquitous Portabella Burger. Whether you are into it as a main course, or as an exciting new kind of side dish for your omnivorous fare, the vegetable cooked in...

Appreciating Turnips, Your Winter Soul Food

Appreciating Turnips, Your Winter Soul Food

Here in the snowy hinterlands, I sometimes try to imagine living here before central heating. Frigid winds blast across the sinuous banks of deep snow, blasting cold right into your bones. Somehow, people surived here. And I, with my high-tech ski jacket and fleece...

Saffron and Cauliflower, Italian Style

Saffron and Cauliflower, Italian Style

Cauliflower has been all the rage lately. From cauliflower steaks on restaurant menus, to cauliflower pizza crusts on the tables of low-carb eaters, the big white brassica is everywhere. It's lovely to see, since cauliflower is a fantastic veggie. I know I am happier...

Shake off the Chill with Massaman Curry Rainbow Carrots

Shake off the Chill with Massaman Curry Rainbow Carrots

Massaman Curry Rainbow Carrots As we wait for Spring to come, we still need some warming, energizing foods. Spices, with all their tongue-tingling tastes and scents, are my go-to for jazzing up my end of Winter fare. And while most of the time, I combine my own...